Feature

What to do about Kosovo

The week's news at a glance.

Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

The U.N. has ordered talks to begin on the legal status of Kosovo, the Serbian province whose secession in 1999 prompted a Serbian crackdown and a NATO intervention. Kosovo, populated mostly by ethnic Albanians, wants independence. But the province has deep historic ties to Serbia, which refuses to let it go. Seasoned negotiator Martti Ahtisaari, a Finnish diplomat, will take on the job of mediating the talks. He’ll have to meet with each side separately, as the Serbs and Kosovars refuse to be in the same room. “Desirable as it would be to imagine that you could have two delegations sitting opposite each other and start agreeing on status,” said Soren Jessen-Petersen, the U.N. administrator of Kosovo, “it’s not realistic.”

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